Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Good Doctor's Office ...

apparently is hard to find.

Today I had an appointment for a follow-up and lab work. In spite of my anathema toward prescription drugs, I do presently take two medications - thyroid, prescribed for me 15 years ago and apparently something you can never stop taking (although I want to try it and see what happens) and an asthma/allergy drug.

The thyroid medicine requires annual blood work, although I have no clue why. My prescription ran out with the last refill and so I dutifully called about two weeks ago and made an appointment. This even though I really dislike going when I know it's flu season.

Today I rearranged my schedule and fasted as I was instructed to do. I don't think you must fast for the thyroid test but I have high cholesterol and the doctor likes to check that all the time. The result is I am "talked to" about (a) having high cholesterol and refusing to take some drug for it and (b) being overweight. You get used to it (the talking to, I mean).

I arrived a bit early, quite chipper (and hungry). Before I could even sign my name to the check-in sheet, a stern-looking soul asked who I was. I cheerily gave my name and date of birth and waited.

And waited.

"Am I not in the system?" I asked, feeling a bit more anxious now.

"You have no appointment today," the woman said.

"Yes I do. I made it two weeks ago."

"Your appointment is for 6/5."

I stood there a moment. June? "No, it's today, 3/5, March 5, not June. My prescriptions run out in March, not June," I replied.

"Well, it says June," she said.

I threw up my hands. I could not help but recall that only two months ago we had to cancel appointments for my husband that he never made that were somehow in their system.

The woman then ushered me around the corner, where another lady looked me up on her computer and muttered something about new software. She then went to another desk down the hall and spoke to someone I couldn't see.

I heard my name. The unseen person went off. "I can't do any more today! I have six people right now, I can't handle this any more, I just can't do this!" the woman sobbed. She really was hysterical.

I don't think it was my doctor but I can't be sure. Which is, frankly, a bit scary to consider. Whoever was having that bad a day should have been at home.

After a few moments of additional conversation I heard the words "get her lab work" and "see what prescriptions she needs."

So that is what happened. A nurse took my blood and eventually someone handed me a prescription for another month for the thyroid medication. It was signed by my doctor, who I did hear say something like "I am really frazzled," as she scribbled on the paper, because I was standing just down the hall watching.

This was only 9:20 a.m. Very early to be frazzled.

Hence, my uneasiness about the unknown person who was having histrionics behind the desk earlier.

Of course, I had planned to see the doctor to ask about that chest pain I have been having, as well as seeing how one goes about stopping medication they have been on for 15 years. That all went out the window.

I really think I would just as soon never see a doctor again. Maybe I would do just as well....

5 comments:

  1. Ack, that's a terrible way to treat a patient and especially to allow you within earshot of their behavior. YIKES! Please if you're having chest pain, don't ignore it. And RE: your thyroid meds - my dad takes one and he has to have lab work to make sure the hormone levels are ok and that his kidney function is proper - probably similar reason for you. Good luck with the MD office.

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  2. Sounds like you were fortunate not to see that "frazzled" person if it was indeed your doctor. Scary stuff...

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  3. It's too bad this doctor couldn't calm herself down enough to handle her day. I am glad you escaped without a look-see from this quack. I would definitely start trying to find another doctor... soon!

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  4. I happen to be going through a lot of similar frustration right now...and finding a new doctor isn't easy either!

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  5. you could try your own version of the hysterical approach.

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